Please see: A WIND-WIN SCENARIO FOR TEXAS
Boosting the economy
The developments are benefiting the Gulf economy, particularly in rural stretches where jobs and industry are scarce. Duke alone has invested more than $1 billion of build five South Texas wind farms dubbed Los Vientos.
In Willacy County, where the unemployment is above 10 percent, more than double the state average, Duke Energy’s two wind farms have become the largest private investment in this ranching and farming community of about 20,000. Construction on the first two wind farms generated 300 jobs in the area, created new income streams for farmers and ranchers, who lease their land, and generated much needed revenues for local governments and schools.
Proximity a plus
The growth of the Gulf Coast’s wind energy has been aided by advances in turbine and blade technologies, allowing producers to generate electricity at lower wind speeds, said Andrew Dickson, the managing director for business development for Duke’s renewable projects.
Higher turbines and wider rotators have increased the average power that a wind project can produce, making projects profitable in areas where they wouldn’t have generated enough power before, Dickson said.